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Nat Prod Commun. 2011 Oct;6(10):1487-90.

Essential oil from Ocimum basilicum (Omani Basil): a desert crop.

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  • 1Department of Crop Sciences, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. aymaskri@yahoo.com

Abstract

The focus of the present study was on the influence of season on yield, chemical composition, antioxidant and antifungal activities of Omani basil (Ocimum basilicum) oil. The present study involved only one of the eight Omani basil varieties. The hydro-distilled essential oil yields were computed to be 0.1%, 0.3% and 0.1% in the winter, spring and summer seasons, respectively. The major components identified were L- linalool (26.5-56.3%), geraniol (12.1-16.5%), 1,8-cineole (2.5-15.1%), p-allylanisole (0.2-13.8%) and DL-limonene (0.2-10.4%). A noteworthy extra component was beta- farnesene, which was exclusively detected in the oil extracted during winter and spring at 6.3% and 5.8%, respectively. The essential oil composition over the different seasons was quite idiosyncratic, in which the principal components of one season were either trivial or totally absent in another. The essential oil extracted in spring exhibited the highest antioxidant activity (except DPPH scavenging ability) in comparison with the oils from other seasons. The basil oil was tested against pathogenic fungi viz. Aspergillus niger, A. fumigatus, Penicillium italicum and Rhizopus stolonifer using a disc diffusion method, and by determination of minimum inhibitory concentration. Surprisingly high antifungal values were found highlighting the potential of Omani basil as a preservative in the food and medical industries.

PMID:
22164790
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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